A WOMAN who had all but given up hopes of marriage is celebrating after a fairytale flash mob proposal.

Natalie Hunt and Craig Calvert were visiting Brighton for the first time when he popped the question – but it wasn’t as straightforward as planned.

The couple, who have been together for nine years, were walking along Brighton seafront when a man stopped Craig and asked him to take a photo near King's Road Arches.

Unbeknown to Natalie, this was part of an elaborate plan involving more than 20 dancers from Apollo Theatre Arts in Brighton.

The flash mob sprang into action, dancing to a combination of love-related songs including Florence and the Machine’s You’ve Got The Love and I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) by Whitney Houston.

At the end of the routine, Craig got down on one knee, to the delight of passersby.

Natalie, from Birmingham, said that after almost a decade together she thought this day would never come.

“We've been together for nine years and I'd given up all hope of marriage,” she said.

“Craig said to me for all of 2021, ‘this could be your year’, so on New Year’s Eve all my friends gritted their teeth, at which point I truly believed I would never have the weddings my friends had.”

The Argus: Craig Calvert and Natalie Hunt Craig Calvert and Natalie Hunt

Natalie also revealed that her outfit changes that day almost meant the proposal was called-off.

To identify Natalie, the flash mob organiser and founder of Apollo Theatre Arts Katy Markey had asked Craig to send a photo of her outfit.

But after three outfit changes that morning, it proved difficult.

“Katy had never met me so sheneeded to know what I was wearing," said Natalie.

"Craig was texting Katy all day to try and get me there for 3.30pm on the dot, taking various photos of me on the sly as I changed my outfit three times.

“When we were ten seconds from the spot, I decided to stop off for a pot of prawns. At which point Craig had to tell the dance troop, ‘we're delayed, she's eating some prawns’.

“Usually I’m quite strict with the schedule but I let Craig direct the day as I was quite tired and hungover.

“Earlier that day, I even asked him to wear his jacket, but he wouldn't let me as the ring was in his pocket.”

The Argus: Flash mob wedding proposal on Brighton seafront Flash mob wedding proposal on Brighton seafront

Natalie also praised the performers from Apollo Theatre Arts, some of who have performed in music videos for the likes of Little Mix and JoJo.

“I would really love it if you could share the story - purely for the exposure of an amazing local theatre company who did a good thing for a good person,” she said.

“This is the kind of positive news the world needs right now.”